Ron Coleman is an accomplished trial lawyer who thrives in big, complex cases. Throughout his more than 30-year career, Ron has helped clients successfully resolve all manner of legal disputes, whether via negotiation, motion practice, alternative dispute resolution, trial, or appeal. Whether representing a plaintiff or defendant, his creative, sophisticated approach to resolving disputes is designed to help his clients reach the best possible outcomes consistent with their business goals.
Ron represents manufacturers, technology companies, franchisors, and other clients in a variety of commercial, intellectual property, and product liability cases. His intellectual property experience includes trade secret, trademark, copyright, and patent infringement matters. Ron also regularly represents national franchisors in all manner of disputes, including disputes with franchisees and claims arising from competition between franchise systems.
Ron invests in learning about his clients and focuses on helping them navigate business-defining disputes. He is particularly proud that he has developed a group of long-standing litigation clients, some of which he has worked with for more than 20 years.
As a testament to his tenacity and the results he achieves, Ron is often called upon to handle the biggest, most complex litigation matters facing businesses in the Southeast.
Listed in Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, 2010-2022 Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year,” Franchise Law, Atlanta, 2012, 2017, 2020 Franchise Law, 2007-2023 Commercial Litigation, 2021-2023 Litigation - Intellectual Property, 2013-2023 Trade Secrets Law, 2023 Listed in International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Franchise Law, 2004-Present Listed in Georgia Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2004-2023 Listed in Georgia Trend magazine, “Legal Elite,” Intellectual Property Law, 2004 Litigation Counsel of America, Charter Fellow Represented the owner of one of Atlanta's signature high-rise buildings in two parallel federal lawsuits against a major Atlanta restauranteur for breach of a commercial lease. Obtained two judgments in the client's favor and utilized the post-judgment collection process to leverage a significant monetary recovery. Represented client in a successful appeal reversing a bench trial judgment applying incorrect legal standard in construing easement at issue. This case clarified Georgia law regarding the correct standard for interpreting easements. Represented a Fortune 500 diagnostic testing company in successfully challenging and reversing a significant adverse jury verdict. Following a nearly $5.5 million adverse jury verdict prior to our involvement, we handled post-trial briefing, a new trial, and an appeal, which ultimately resulted in a complete defense verdict and no liability to our client. Obtained a new trial on damages, and then convinced the trial court to vacate the remaining portion of the jury's verdict (the liability finding) and award a new trial on all issues. The parties tried the case to a jury in March 2014. The plaintiff sought at least $7 million at trial. After a six-day jury trial, the jury entered a complete defense verdict, which was then affirmed by the Georgia Court of Appeals. Samaca, LLC v. Cellairis Franchise, Inc., 345 Ga. App. 368 (2018) Successfully represented a national franchisor in both the trial court and before the Georgia Court of Appeals in obtaining an order compelling arbitration of the plaintiff's claims in a seven-count, 42-page complaint. The plaintiff argued that the parties' agreement to arbitrate had been superseded by another contract, but the trial court (Fulton County Superior Court, Business Court) granted our motion to compel arbitration of all claims. Handled the appeal before the Georgia Court of Appeals, which unanimously affirmed the trial court's decision compelling arbitration. Represented a national restaurant franchisor in pursuing and obtaining injunctive relief in federal bankruptcy court against a former franchisee for misuse of client's trademarks. Successfully asserted claims arising under the Lanham Act (trademark infringement and false origin claims), as well as claims for unfair competition and breach of contract. The court granted the client's motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction and ordered the defendants to immediately stop using the client's trademarks and cease operation of the restaurants at issue. Represented the subsidiary of a Fortune 500 diagnostic testing company in successfully enforcing restrictive covenants against a top sales representative. Despite having agreed to restrictive covenants, including a non-compete, the sales representative resigned and went to work for a competitor in the same territory. We filed suit on behalf of our client and obtained a preliminary injunction in federal court against the sales representative. Then, based on evidence obtained during discovery, the firm moved for summary judgment on behalf of our client. The court granted summary judgment as to liability in favor of the client, finding that the sales representative had breached both his non-compete and his non-solicitation covenants. Shortly thereafter, the case settled favorably for the client. Represented two entrepreneurs in defense of claims for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, misuse of confidential information, trademark infringement, and related claims. The case involved new, cutting-edge technology relating to small satellites (cube satellites) and the Internet of Things (IoT). The firm obtained summary judgment for the clients on several claims, including on the plaintiff's claims for trademark infringement, breach of contractual client and employee non-solicits, and violation of the Georgia computer systems protection statute. Represented a national franchisor of units selling wireless accessories and performing repairs of wireless devices, in a precedent-setting case enforcing a non-compete under the new Georgia restrictive covenants statute against a former employee and a guarantor of one of the client's franchisees. After the defendant began to work with one of the client's competitors, the client sued to enforce a non-compete in his guarantee agreement restricting his ability to work in the wireless accessory and repair industry within a 10-mile radius of any of the client's franchise units anywhere in the United States. In a case of first impression under the still-new Georgia restrictive covenant statute, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction enforcing the non-compete to the full extent of its terms – i.e., nationwide for 10 miles around any business unit. The court's decision represents a major victory for franchisors because it recognizes a franchisor's legitimate business interest in preventing unfair competition nationally by a former franchisee or its principals, and grants much broader relief than previously was available under Georgia law. Represent large car part manufacturing facility in response to OSHA investigation of press operator injury and possible product liability issues.